If you wander down Upper Street in Islington, you will not miss Ottolenghi. Their display of cakes are truly exceptional; meringues the size of your head piled high on majestic cake stands, rows upon rows of intricately decorated tarts, pies, financiers and cakes, not to mention their array of savoury dishes bursting with colour.
They taste just as good as they look; their famous lemon & mascarpone tart is zingy with a pastry base that doesn’t just crunch but pops in the mouth (it’s a bit like eating popping candy), and their honeyed figs friande is wonderfully sticky and sweet.
We find ourselves returning on most weekends with new excuses to treat ourselves…’oh the weather is getting too cold, let’s cheer ourselves up with some Ottolenghi cakes’ or ‘whoops I took the wrong turn, might as well pop into Ottolenghi on the way home’. So what’s the excuse this time…to celebrate my last day of work before travelling! Thought it was quite a justified excuse actually.
We know we’re not the only victims either. We’ve sat outside on countless occasions whilst scoffing the cakes and passersby would stop to gawk at the display (of the cakes, not at us scoffing…or maybe both), before eventually falling into Ottolenghi’s honey trap.
Their savoury dishes are just as good and the menu changes regularly to embrace seasonal fruits and veg. We bought their cookbook to try out at home, and it’s truly the first cookbook that every recipe we’ve tried have turned out spectacularly on first attempts.
If you do find yourselves up at this end of North London, this restaurant is well worth a visit. You won’t be able to avoid it even if you tried.
287 Upper Street
London N1 2TZ+44 20 7288 1454